Fantastic new ship: Carnival Magic Cruise Review by suburban_awesome

Carnival Magic 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Fantastic new ship

Sail Date: March 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Galveston
I just returned from a 7-day cruise on the Magic with my husband (we're both around 30), his parents (mid-50s) and youngest brother (7). We had two cabins, theirs was an aft balcony cabin; ours was one of the deluxe oceanviews on Deck 1.

I'll try to sum this up without rambling too much. Basically, it was fantastic. The new ship is great and after our previous cruise on the Victory in 2008, we thought that the Magic really improved on some of the space-flow issues.

We stayed at the Sheraton Four Points in Galveston the night before, they do not offer a shuttle but were happy to provide a cab. It was a quick 10-minute or so ride to the port.

Embarkation was very smooth and we had no problems. We got onboard around noon and were allowed in our cabins at 1:30.

CABIN: Our cabin had two bathrooms (one with shower, toilet & sink, the other with sink & small tub) and even though there were only 2 of us we found this really useful -- we could both shower at the More same time. The water pressure was great and the water stayed hot. Plenty of closet/storage space and even though we were down on Deck 1 we had very few problems with engine noise. Our cabin steward was very good and kept up with us well.

FOOD: Main dining room food was always great. I don't think I ate one disappointing dish. Our waiters - Sasa and George - were really awesome and took to the 7-year-old quickly. We ate one meal at Cucina del Capitano, and it was really good -- although the portions are huge and I could not finish my entree. The arancini was mind-meltingly good. As for the main Lido buffet, I highly recommend the Tandoor grill, which was really delicious, rarely busy and tasted pretty authentic (says the white girl). I was a little mystified by the Mediterranean inclusions, but no matter.

SPORTS, POOL, ETC: My husband loved the ropes course and we both thought the WaterWorks was really cool. The Sports Square is cool in theory although I quickly realized that the workout equipment is really rudimentary and who really wants to use an elliptical or bike in the blazing sun? Thought the Serenity area was great -- totally comfy chairs, hammocks, etc.

RED FROG: LOVED the Red Frog. Look up Mbollo, one of the bartenders. He became our go-to guy. The space is great - really feels like a cool vacation bar in Key West as opposed to another bland ship bar space. There are games, a guy playing a guitar, and generally cozy comfy space. The custom beer is pretty decent, and if you want a great bang for your buck, the rum sampler gets you four double shots of rum for a mere $14. Whoohoo. We didn't try any of the food there but it all sounded good. Oh, and they have complimentary fried pigeon peas at night, which are surprisingly yummy (and a little spicy).

PORTS: We had a fantastic time in Grand Cayman doing snorkeling and swimming with stingrays. I recommend going through Moby Dick tours directly, it will cost you less and they have a great reputation. Just make sure you reapply sunscreen regularly. The tendering process was a little nerve-wracking but it was no problem. I didn't like Jamaica as much as I thought I would, but it was still a fun experience.

OTHER: The layout is much improved over previous ships, and it rarely felt crowded despite being full. I thought there were a lot of great comfortable public spaces and the promenade was also a nice addition. Pro tip, if you want to stargaze, all the way forward on the promenade (Deck 5) is the best place for it.

We were minorly disappointed that the karaoke was mostly in the afternoon and in the ocean view plaza, but it worked out, since we spent most nights at the Red Frog.

One random note: there was a bit of drama our last night, when we were still 150 miles or so from Galveston. It was announced that someone on board was seriously ill and needed to be evacuated, that it could not wait until morning. So around 11:30 or so a coast guard helicopter appeared very loudly overhead and airlifted the passenger. No idea what happened but it provided some noise and drama for sure! I hope the passenger in question is OK! Less

Published 04/04/12

Cabin review: 6L1420 Deluxe Ocean View

Plenty of closet space, having the extra bathroom was great, roomy enough for two. Some noise from the thrusters when we were coming into port.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Mostly wandered the main drag here. Lots of tequila, vanilla, crafts, etc. Recommend Casa Denis for a good local place to eat. Very reasonable and tasty food -- we got tacos, a torta, a pineapple agua fresca and a horchata and it was $12 US. Lot of "aggressively friendly" people who try to lure you into their stores, restaurants, etc. Be polite but firm, and don't be afraid to haggle.
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Stingray Swim

Very basic boat, very friendly and experienced tour operators. Had a GREAT time especially with the stingrays. Snorkeling was a little difficult due to being out on the barrier reef with rough waters. This part is not for weak swimmers.

We spent most of our day on the Hip Strip, which was not quite what I expected (I had never been to Jamaica before). Lots of friendly but aggressive shopkeepers who will follow you around the store and tell you everything is on sale and their prices are the lowest. Doctors Cave Beach Club was nice but will cost you $18 for entrance for two adults and an umbrella. Most of the cab drivers that hang around on the street will offer you a ride and then some weed.

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